Friday, October 28, 2011

Lighting Up the MUP

There has been a lot of discussion lately over whether to light the MUP (multi use path), which is, IMHO, one of Tofino's greatest assets. This came to the fore after a tragic death in town.

Personally, I am not in favour of lighting the MUP. Aside from my concerns over light pollution, ongoing maintenance and the like, I feel it ignores our personally responsibility. It is pretty easy - and inexpensive - to light yourself on the MUP. Lights on the front and back of bikes and flashlights held by pedestrians will alleviate most of the dangers. (I say most, because there are other "dangers," often surprising and almost inexplicable. As a pedestrian, I was hit by a cyclist in the middle of a sunny summer day.)

This fall a Light the MUP initiative began. I applaud local people trying to make things happen, but, again, I was concerned over heading down a road that we could not maintain when there is a simpler alternative, so it is great to see that they've started with a great initiative — making free lights available at three accessible locations. From the story in The Westerly:

"Launching on October 22 is the group's first efforts in lighting up the way for Tofino residents.

The group of volunteers have purchased bike lights that will be available at three different site locations along the MUP: one in town, one near Beaches and Live to Surf, and one near the Cox Bay information centre.

"If you need a light at night, you can grab one and drop it in a box when you are leaving," said Mussato.

There will be small keychain lights available for pedestrians as well."

Bravo. To all those involved, thanks for your efforts.

Please consider donating a light to this positive initiative.

Learning Nuu-chah-nulth One Day (and Word) At a Time

Interesting in learning a bit of Nuu-chah-nulth language? Then check out Nuu-chah-nulth Speaker on Facebook. Today's phrase? It is really raining - miƛaqaqʔiš. Very appropriate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday Freecycle Event

By chance and a mutual friend, I met a relative of Ivan Polivka's this week. They are slowly clearing his house, so have some items to give away, all in good condition. Here are the details:

Lots of free furniture and household items available to view/cart away, Thursday, October 27, 9 to 12 am ONLY @ 1305 Lynn Road: oak computer desk; 27" TV and stand; 2 bookshelves; ElnaPress 1004; stereo stand/shelving unit; several picture frames; microwave stand; 2 captain's beds (twin); 2 bookshelves; 2 x 3-drawer filing cabinets; LPs; books; misc. small kitchen appliances; inflatable kayak; wine making equipment; kayak (from kit); Lazy-Boy-type chair; kitchen cart, etc.

SInce it might be busy, you might want to park on the road and walk up the drive, at least for viewing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Big Day!

The Big Year was released last night. Tofino has a bit part, as do a few of our locals. Here's more:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Learning from the First Peoples

Tofitians love their food. With so many excellent restaurants, local food-related events, such as the Tofino Food and Wine Festival, and initiatives such as TUCG, that provide us with fresh seasonal food, it's no wonder we have so many "foodies."

The west coast is a bountiful place. Although we have more access to "local" foods, the word local is relative. Peaches aren't really local, but salad and red huckleberries are. Lamb or turkey wasn't a staple of the past, but venison, duck, fish of all species, and even whale were on the diet. The natural bounty of this place sustained the First Nations people for thousands of years. It was hard work all that hunting and gathering, but food was relatively plentiful. It had to be to support populations of more than 10,000.

The connections to traditional foods have weakened over the years, but a great initiative from Uu-a-thluk, part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Fisheries, have produced some wonderful resources on traditional foods and their preparation. (Uu-a-thluk means "taking care of.") Curious about eelgrass and herring eggs or how to prepare food in a steam pit? Then this is a great resource to check out. Their Nuu-chah-nulth Traditional Foods Toolkit, includes six booklets — Eelgrass, Candy of the Sea; Herring Spawn; Quu-as Tips for Drying and Smoking Salmon; Steam Pit Cooking; Low Tide Foods; and the Nuu-chah-nulth Traditional Foods Reference Guide. Proceeds from the purchase of these items go towards their programming, which includes feasts where youth learn about traditional foods from their elders.

Here is a great video describing the project.

And here's an article about the project.

Make sure you also check out the wonderful cookbook put out by Uu-a-thluk, camus.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cougar Questions?

If you live on the west coast, no doubt you have a few questions about cougars. Why have there been so many incidents lately? Are there more cougars? Are they stressed in some way? You can learn more about what is locally known at a talk tomorrow evening. (Details at the end of this post.)

Please take advantage of this opportunity. I've found it interesting — and somewhat distressing — to see how many "instant experts" have emerged of late, and how very strident opinions their opinions can be without a depth of background. Emotions are fine, but we need to temper them with decent information. Here's a chance to learn more.

Understanding Recent Cougar Events: An evening with Bob Hansen from Parks Canada.

Thursday October 6th, 2011
7:30 - 8:30 pm
Tofino Ecolodge at the Tofino Botanical Gardens (the talk will be held upstairs in the classroom)
1084 Pacific Rim Highway (please call us if you need directions - 250 725-2560)

This has been a remarkable year for interactions with cougars. The attack on a child, several other incidents resulting in cougar destructions, and on-going warnings about cougars in the area. These events have raised concerns around human safety and about the stress and toll on cougars. Currently there is evidence of three cougars in the Pacific Rim area. One in the Millstream/Port Albion area, one in the Long Beach area, and another in Tofino. Bob Hansen, wildlife expert, reports that some of the most frequently asked questions about cougars are:

- How is the decision reached to destroy a cougar?
- What happened in the recent incidents?
- Why is Swim Beach closed?
- What might be behind these events?
- What should I do to reduce the chance of running into a cougar?
- If I do see a cougar, how should I react?

Bob will attempt to answer these questions and provide as much information and clarity as possible for those interested in understanding recent cougar activity. Please join us for a much anticipated and very important community event.

This event is sponsored by the Raincoast Education Society.